• Published 7th Aug 2018
  • 5,283 Views, 171 Comments

A Lion's Pride - Firestorm808



Nearly all magic in Equestria has been absorbed by Tirek. With his new power, he will unleash destruction upon the land, but there is hope. Soon, they will see the coming of true power: the Lord Escanor!

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An Unlikely Hero

10 Minutes Earlier in Britannia

Escanor sat in his horse-drawn carriage as it traveled down the dirt road. A few miles behind him was Bernia village, famed for their self-named Bernia Ale. As Bar Master of his traveling tavern, My Sweet Gluttony, he held high standards towards the drinks he provides. With his cargo in tow, he proceeded to the next town on his list.

As much as he would love to keep his business in one place, his condition made life around others difficult. Even though he only opened his tavern at night, he still needed to run other tasks during the day when the other stalls in the market were open. While he could get by in the early mornings or late afternoons, people who recognized him from the tavern would notice the striking difference near high noon. It didn't help that humans were abused by other races in the land including the Holy Knights.

He was just on his way to move to a new bar in a new city. 'A new day; a new start,' he said to himself. Suddenly, a bright light appeared above him, causing his horse to immediately stop. "W-W-What!" Freaked by the event, the horse bucked the carriage to get away. "Wait! Come back!" Escanor reached out to his steed now several trots away. "Don't leave me!"

Slowly, him, his cases, and crates slowly began floating upward. "What kind of magic is this?" the lanky bar master exclaimed. He attempted to swim through the air downward to no avail. One by one, his cargo began disappearing into the light, and he was inching closer as well. "No. No. No. No. No." His fate was sealed as he made contact with the strange energy. He cried out. "Nooooooo!!!!!" With that, his vision went completely white.

Cave of Harmony

He didn't know what happened next, but he landed on the ground with several other objects dropping around him. 'Oww...' He mentally groaned in pain. Escanor readjusted his glasses to rub his eyes. Finally, he examined his surroundings. He was in some sort of cave, that was for sure. He was sweating profusely in a panic. 'Was I captured by the Holy Knights?' he asked himself before shaking his head. 'No. If they did, they would have executed me or bound me by now.' Light from outside shined through the ceiling of the cave and bounced off several crystals embedded into the walls. 'Wherever I am, it certainly is beautiful.' Trailing the several reflections, his eyes laid upon the monument he nearly missed. Immediately, his glasses drooped at the sight of the immaculate object.

It was a tree entirely made of crystal. At its base was a strange open chest, but be moved onto the main features. It's trunk held symbols of the sun and moon. Several branches spread out from its core. Some of them held peculiar gemstones. There was a pink butterfly, a blue balloon, a red lightning bolt, a purple diamond, and an orange apple. In the center of them was a six-pointed star of a lighter shade of purple.

Escanor slowly got up, and slowly approached the wonderment of nature. When he was mere inches away, he raised his right hand. placed a soft hand against the ancient trunk. "This tree," Escanor whispered to himself. "I can already feel its harmonious magical energies flowing within. I know this magic from anywhere."

He turned his head for some other confirmation of his new location, and he certainly found it. In front of him were several distinct creatures. There were six equines of varying colors, a small purple dragon, and a strange yet familiar creature of multiple animal parts. His eyes drifted to the purple mare once more, precisely at her horn wings. He smiled brightly at the conclusion. 'I have to be there. It's the only way. Is she another princess? Does she know where Celestia is?'

The silence felt like it lasted forever, and as if to break it, the pony covered in pink fur and hair hopped towards him. While he didn't expect her to do anything malicious, Escanor was still apprehensive toward the mare. “Hi, there!” she greeted.

Present

A moment of silence passed before Escanor regained his composure. It's been a while since he talked to animals even back home. With that, he took a short breath and greeted back. "H-hello, little pony."

His response generated a positive reaction from the strangers, especially the pink one. "Cool! You can talk and understand us! That makes things much easier."

Escanor remembered a similar response the last time he was here. "Y-Yes. It's quite fortunate."

The pink mare hopped closer to Escanor with a growing smile. "Anyways, I'm Pinkie Pie, party pony extraordinaire, and behind me are my friends."

When he turned back to the others, they gave an awkward wave of hello, and he did the same in return.

Pinkie turned to Escanor. "What about you, stranger? What's your name?"

He doubted remembered him from before, so he introduced himself. "Uh... Y-Yes. M-My name is Escanor."

Seeing him as less of a threat, the others began to gather before him. The blue and rainbow mare with wings tilted her head. "Escanor? That's a weird name. I'm Rainbow Dash, fastest flier around."

The comment caused the man to slump. His demeanor went from nervous to depressed and self-conscious. "I'm sorry for my parents giving me that name."

"No. No. No," a soft feminine voice sounded. The yellow and pink mare with wings slowly stepped forward. Normally, being approached by a stranger would put the man on edge as with Pinkie before. However, this mare gave off an aura that radiated kindness as she placed a hoof on his hip and patted. "I'm sure Rainbow Dash doesn't mean that. I'm sure it's a lovely name where you come from." She blushed before continuing. "Sorry, my name is Fluttershy."

She definitely raised his mood, and he smiled. "And a lovely name yours is too," he complimented in return.

"Yes, don't be so rude, Rainbow," the white mare with a horn chastised. She stepped forward while Fluttershy moved back with the others. "He's obviously not from around here." She offered a hoof to Escanor. "I am Rarity. It is a pleasure to meet you."

To him, she seemed like a mare that held herself in high regard, but she wasn't like the snooty families back in Britannia. Understanding her gesture, he carefully accepted the hoof shake. "I-It is a pleasure to meet a fine young mare as yourself as well."

The orange and blonde mare stepped forth. With a tip of her hat and a nod of her head, she introduced herself. "Mah name's Applejack, but friends call me AJ for short. I hope that I can consider you one too."

Escanor nodded with a meek smile. "T-That means a lot. I would be lying if I said I had many friends." The other sins came to mind, and that only amounts to six people.

The Draconequus stepped forth to Escanor. The human nearly fell over at the stature of the creature. He was easily three times his height. Escanor started to sweat in panic again. The fangs in his mouth didn't help.

Discord's color seemed faded compared to the ponies. The being opened his mouth. "Greeting, mortal. I am Discord, Lord of all Chaos in the world. Well, I'm the former lord of chaos in this case." He groaned as he snapped his fingers to no effect. "I can't even make myself a cup of tea."

"Yeah... after he totally backstabbed us to work with the enemy," muttered Rainbow Dash.

Hearing the comment, Discord glared at the blue mare. "I said I was sorry! If you hadn't noticed I'm in the same boat as you too. I'll make it up to everypony one this whole ordeal is over." He sighed. "I just hope I don't end up in stone for another millennium." Discord continued to ponder on Escanor. 'I swear that I've seen this manner of creature and his name before, but I can't put my claw on it.'

Finally, the purple mare with both wings and a horn approached him. "Greetings, Sir Escanor. I am Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship, and this is my loyal assistant, Spike." She gestured to the young drake behind her before focusing her attention back to Escanor. "I man not fully understand why you are here, but the Tree of Harmony obviously summoned you for a purpose." She then bowed before him. "We are all very grateful to you for coming in our time of need."

Escanor became confused and nervous all over again. 'I was summoned? They need help?' Escanor needed to know more. "I-I am in Equestria, yes?"

"Wow. You sure are!" Pinkie exclaimed before jumping onto Escanor and toppling the man to the ground. Some her friends wondered if this guy even was the hero they were given. "Are you psychic or something? Where are you from? Are you some sub-species of minotaur? If not, are there other creatures that look like you? Normally, I'd throw a party if you get to visit Ponyville, but some big meany ruined that and all future ones!"

"Pinkie!" Twilight interrupted before levitating Pinkie away from the downed man. "I'm so sorry about that. Pinkie can be overly enthusiastic at times, but what she last said is true." She frowned. "There won't be any time of celebration or happiness if we don't stop the crisis at hand." Then she thought about Escanor's question. 'Has he been here before?'

Taking a deep breath, Escanor got down to his knees in front of Twilight, surprising the others. There was one more thing to know. "P-Princess Twilight, what about Princess Celestia and Princess Luna?! Are Celestia and Luna alright?!" he begged with all his heart.

'I guess that answers my question, but that only leads to more. How does he know the Princesses?" She stared at the desperate and pleading eyes behind glasses of the human before her. 'It does seem like he cares for their well-being. I'll ask about that later, but he deserves to know.' The other ponies along with Twilight were surprised by the revelation. Soon her face became a somber one as she started to recap recent events. "They aren't not alright at all. Their magic was stolen, and that are both locked in Tartarus.

"N-No!" Escanor cried out on his knees. "That can't be!" Escanor fell further to the floor with streams of sweat and tears running down his face. "How could this have happened to them?!" Escanor crawled to the purple alicorn. "Who did this horrible deed to such a wonderful being?! Please, tell me..."

While the ponies too felt sad about their ruler's capture, they needed to push their feelings aside in order to save them. Seeing their supposed hero in such a state was heartbreaking, and soon the somber emotions of the mares leaked out.

"An ancient enemy of Equestria escaped Tartarus earlier this year," started Twilight.

Pinkie continued. "Yeah, the Demon Lord Tirek showed up and started sucking the magic out of everypony."

"D-D-Demon!" Escanor exclaimed in fright. 'I don't remember Equestria having demons last time.'

Twilight shook her head. "Pinkie, Tirek is not a demon."

"He's big, red, has horns, and is super mean," argued the pink mare.

Applejack shrugged. "She's got a point."

Twilight rolled her eyes. "Demon or not, Tirek's desire for power now has him in possessions of almost all the magic in Equestria."

Spike looked at the crying frail man at his feet and back at the chest. "Is it too late to trade up?" he asked dryly.

Finally stopped crying, Escanor pulled himself up. "I see what position we are in now. In order to save this land, we must confront this Tirek."

"We already tried stopping him before, and that led us nowhere," argued Rainbow.

"He's too powerful," added a downcast Fluttershy.

"I don't suppose you have some sort of plan?" asked Applejack.

Escanor tried to bulk up his already thin chest in bravado to little effect. "I-I will firmly ask him to stop this madness and set the Princesses free."

"That's it... You're going to talk to him?" gawked Rainbow and everypony else.

"Your words wouldn't happen to hit with the force of a party cannon, would they?" asked Pinkie.

Twilight smiled crookedly at Escanor. "While as the Princess of Friendship, I support a diplomatic approach, but I don't think Tirek is of the same mindset."

Escanor clenched his two noodle arms. "I-I must do whatever it takes to save the Princesses from this ruffian."

"Please tell me you are you some sort of old guy who knows martial arts and junk?"

"Actually, I'm a Bar Manager."

The creatures around the room froze. It seemed as if hope had been drained from their faces.

"What?" Discord asked as he turned to his friends. "Did we all hear that correctly?"

Escanor didn't notice their shock and seeing his crates strewn around the cave, he approached one and opened it. "I-I'm not much of a fighter. In fact, I own a traveling tavern called My Sweet Gluttony." From the crate, he pulled out a set of cloth and two bottles. Setting the bottle to the side, he turned to the others. "If I will be meeting Tirek soon, I must be appropriately dressed."

Trying to keep face, Rarity slowly nodded in agreement. "I do agree, Escanor. While the green complements your orange mane, it is a tad tacky."

He nodded. "If you will excuse me for a moment." Escanor began changing behind the Tree of Harmony.

Meanwhile, the gang was in a panicked frenzy. "This is what we risked our lives for?" asked Rainbow Dash. "This is what the magic box gave us to save the world form Tirek."

"I feel the same way, Rainbow," replied AJ. "We can't hope to defeat him like this. We'll be run over like the rest of Equestria."

"I don't want to live under his rule." cried Fluttershy. "Judging by your fight with him, he doesn't care about nature at all."

Discord attempted to comfort his barely only friend. "I know, Fluttershy. I regret everything I did to hurt you all."

"Don't lose faith Rainbow," stated Twilight. "It's all we have left."

Spike thought for a second before speaking up. "What about the Crystal Heart? If Escanor doesn't work out, maybe we could use that?"

"Sorry Spike, but we can't remove the Crystal Heart from the Crystal Empire. Without Princess Cadence protecting the kingdom, the land would freeze over along with everyone in it."

"Even if we tried to use it there," added Discord, "we would somehow have to lead Tirek all the way up north and into the empire. That alone would take days on hoof without anyone running a train. Dash might make it earlier, but I'm sure Tirek would see the plan coming."

"I guess Escanor really is our last chance," whispered Rarity and Fluttershy.

The blue mare stopped her hooves. "You know what, if this is going to be our last day of freedom because of Tirek, let's enjoy it." Rainbow flew over to the bottles left out. "Hey, Escanor," she called out. "Do you mind if we try some of your drinks?"

"O-Oh, I don't mind," he replied. "P-Please try some. I hope you like it."

"Thanks!" Rainbow tossed a bottle to the orange mare. "Bottoms up." Applejack shrugged, and they both took a few swigs. Soon, both of their eyes widened in surprise before staring back at the bottle in their hoofs. "Wow, this is really good stuff."

"Yeah, definitely competes what we make back at the orchard," complimented AJ.

RD smirked. "If we make it out of this, I'm definitely getting more to taste test."

"Okay," Escanor called out.

Escanor walked out from behind the tree, and what little hope they had nearly disintegrated.

"I'm ready to face Tirek."

"I may not be much of a fighter," he added, "but I will end Tirek's wrath."

All the mares in the room gazed at his toothpick body in clothing way too big for him. Even though he put away his glasses, he looked like a foal trying on his parent's clothes. Everypony collapsed to the ground.

"We're doomed!" cried Rainbow Dash.

Twilight groaned and faced the downed Rainbow and Applejack. "Let me have some of that before we leave..." The depressed faces of Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Rarity showed. "Them too..."

Pinkie frowned, her hair flat. "You better have something up those baggy sleeves Escy, or we're toast."

Author's Note:

First off, I want to thank you all for your love and support for this story.

I was ecstatic to see that my story was featured and all those notifications that piled up.

If you liked this story, be sure to favorite, like, and comment. I want to hear your thoughts.